Alanya, Turkey

Alanya is a resort city that is situated in the Antalya Province of Turkey. It is situated about seventy-five miles from Antalya and is on Turkey’s southern coast. It covers an area of six hundred and eighteen square miles and has a population of almost four hundred thousand residents. Due to its position below the Taurus Mountains on a peninsula of the Mediterranean Ocean, it has historically been a strategic position for various empires to erect strongholds. Alanya is a part of the Turkish Riviera and takes up approximately forty-three miles of coastline. The city is bordered by Manavgat District, the Taskent Province and Gundogmus Inland. Alanya is split in half by a rocky peninsula, and it is one of the most distinctive features of the city. The city has a Mediterranean climate that is characterized by hot summers and rainy winters. Because of the position of the mountain range next to the ocean, the city is often affected by a lot of fog. Sea Temperature in the area is around seventy degrees Fahrenheit, with an average air temperature of eighty- five degrees.

Alanya was first fortified following the conquest of Alexander the Great during the Hellenistic period. After Alexander’s departure, the city was handed over to Ptolemy I after 323 BC. Ptolemy kept a very loose control over the city and its port became a refuge for pirates. This prompted the Roman Empire to wage a war against pirates in 102 BC. This continued until the collapse of the Roman Empire, when the city fell under the influence of the Byzantine Empire. During the seventh century, the city was attacked by a series of Arab attacks which prompted the construction of new city wide fortifications. In the eleventh century, the city was captured by Seljuk Turks following the Battle of Manzikert. A century later, Alanya was returned to the Byzantine Empire by John II Komnenos. During the Crusades, the city was briefly held by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, but it would fall to the Turks in 1221. It was during this time that several fortifications and improvements were added to the city which include a citadel, arsenal and city walls. These improvements made it an important Mediterranean port.

Today, Alanya has a thriving economy that is dependent on agriculture and tourism. Its agricultural production includes tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, plums, oranges, lemons and bananas. It produces over eighty thousand tons of citrus fruit taken from over forty thousand acres of fruit farms. One would think that the city would have fishing as a major economic activity because of its proximity to the ocean, but that is not the case. Housing is however. When provisional restrictions on land purchases by foreigners were removed in 2003, the city experienced a housing boom. This saw the construction of new houses for Asian and European residents. Now, sixty-nine percent of homes purchased in the province by foreigners is located in Alanya. Almost thirty percent of foreign owned homes in the country are located in the city. Most of the buyers are individuals and not investors. This is primarily due to the height restrictions placed on new construction in the city. Most buildings are limited to a height of just twenty-one feet. This means that high rise hotels are not located in the city, but to its west. This keeps the skyline of the city intact and allows the city to maintain its tourist potential. Alanya is not devoid of hotels, however. In fact, the hotels and motels in the city offer over one hundred and sixty thousand beds to tourists. The city has a thriving tourist trade and sees many German, Russian, Dutch and American visitors. These tourist are drawn to the city by its climate, relatively cheap property prices, access to fine historical sites and its beautiful beaches. Popular outdoor activities in the city include boating, surfing and parasailing. Also located in the city are amusement parks, go kart tracks and many other attractions.

A popular attraction in Alanya is Alanya Kalesi, otherwise known as Alanya Castle. This castle was erected in the thirteenth century by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. It was built right on top of previous Byzantine and Roman strongholds. Alanya Castle is situated on a seven hundred and fifty foot rocky peninsular that sticks out into the Mediterranean Sea, which offers natural protection on three sides. After the city became a part of the Ottoman Empire the castle was no longer used for defensive purposes and several villas were built inside its castle walls. Today, its an open air museum and most of the castle property is open to the public.

Other prominent attractions in the city of Alanya include Cleopatra Beach, The Kale, Damlatas Caves, Alanya Gardens, Magic Dive, Alanya Shipyard, The Harbor Flea Market, House of Ataturk, Alanya Shipyard and Kizilkale. Alanya is also home to several popular restaurants and hotels. Restaurants in the city include Queen’s Garden, Ottoman house, Crazy Horse, Yakamoz Restaurant, Green Beach Club, Planet Restaurant, Dome Pico, Deniz Restaurant und Ferienwohnungen and Moonlight. Hotels in the city include Seaport Hotel, Bella Vista Apart Hotel, Puren, Azak Hotel, Elysee Beach Hotel, Primera Hotel & Apart, Gold Hotel and Aroma Hotel.